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Oscarsborg Fortress, Drøbak, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale Festningsverk
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Oscarsborg Fortress, Drøbak, Norway Photo: Nasjonale Festningsverk

Oscarsborg Fortress

Oscarsborg Fortress is situated on a peaceful islet of natural beauty in the straits of the Oslofjord, just outside the cosy seaside town of Drøbak.

In the summer season, Oscarsborg is a great place to visit for young families and everybody with an interest in culturehistory and nature. The Museum of Oscarsborg is open and conducts guided tours. The dramatic story of the Battle of Drøbak Sound, where the German heavy cruiser Blücher was sunk, is a central element.

Among the activities for children, there is a history safari through the exciting tunnels of Oscarsborg. There is also Coast Goat Commando, an obstacle course, the TV rescue vessel Elias plus beaches and places to fish for crabs. Children can learn while they play at Oscarsborg.

The courtyard provides a magnificent setting for concerts and cultural events, and not least the operas that are staged here. For an English copy of this year's performances, please email ingvild.elvebraten@forsvarsbygg.no.

Access and ferries to Oscarsborg Fortress

Oscarsborg is only a five-minute ferry trip away from Drøbak. The ferries go every day year round. For the exact ferry schedule, please check the website of Oscarsborg or call the information phone on +47 815 51 900. Alternatively contact Drøbak Tourist Information.

Tickets for the ferry can be bought on the quay or on the ferry. The price for a round trip in the summer season is NOK 70 for adults, and NOK 50 for children. There is also a family ticket (two adults and up to three children) at NOK 180.  (In the winter season there are fewer activities at Oscarsborg and the round trip ferry ticket is priced at NOK 50 and NOK 35, respectively).  

From May on, there is also a weekly ferry connection from Aker Brygge in the city centre of Oslo that goes via Nesodden, and one from Sætre in Hurum. 

Parking
There is ample free parking at Sundbrygga Quay in Drøbak. 

Guest harbour
For visitors arriving by private boat, Oscarsborg Guest Harbour is staffed, and a pleasant place to arrive.

Where to eat and stay

At Oscarsborg you will find a spa hotel with a restaurant and coffee-shop, a café with its own candle-making shop, and a pleasant pub overlooking to the guest harbour.

For reservations or further information on menus and so on prior to arriving at Oscarsborg, please call the information phone on +47 815 51 900. The Oscarsborg Hotel and Spa can accommodate 190 guests. 

Places to eat at Oscarsborg:

  • Oscarsborg Hotel and Spa
  • Café Oscar  (light meals and candle-making workshop)
  • Oscarsborg Havnekro

Courses and conferences

Oscarsborg is a popular venue for courses and conferences. The organizers can offer facilities that are tailor-made for your company and your particular preferences and requirements. A conference at Oscarsborg becomes a memorable experience. The wonderful setting and excellent conference facilities combine to guarantee a successful event. A variety of activities and team building exercises is available from a the local event agency, and the hotel itself can accommodate 190 guests. Please call please call the information phone on +47 815 51 900 in order contact the organizers.    

Spa

The delicate spa at Oscarsborg offers more than 30 unique treatments in an unforgettable atmosphere. Overlooking the sea, the treatments, relaxation lounge and views all combine to produce a veritable feast for all senses. 

History

The Drøbak Sound is well positioned for defensive installations. Under King Christian IV, a blockhouse was erected at the Kaholmane Islet which was completed in 1643. The fortress installations did not see any action, however, during the wars between Denmark-Norway and Sweden in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

During the 1830s, proposals were discussed for the installations that came to be Oscarsborg Fortress the way we know the fortifications today. The first construction phase was completed on 20 November 1848, and by December 1852 the rest of the cannons were installed in the main fort. The fortress was completed in 1853

The fortress was named "Oscarsborg" on the occasion of the visit by King Oscar I on Kaholmen on 23 August 1855. When the installations were completed, Oscarsborg was considered one of the most modern fortresses in Northern Europe, but this recognition was not to last for very long. As early as in 1864 Oscarsborg Fortress was seen to be obsolete due to the rapid development of  artillery technology. The original fortifications at Kaholmane were built as a protection against attacks from the sea. However, the fortress was easily circumnavigated, and could be taken from the land side. Consequently, Oscarsborg went through a second round of construction work in the 1890s. A new torpedo battery was completed in 1901.

On 9 April 1940, Oscarsborg Fortress passed its first, real test: the fort's armaments managed to sink the German flagship, the Blücher. The brief respite this provided enabled the Norwegian Government to evacuate important people in Oslo. The King, Parliament and Government were thus able to flee and later organize the resistance from abroad. 

For the disabled

The innumerable roads at Oscarsborg means there is a choice of transport routes that are convenient for the disabled and guests in wheelchairs. The museum has awheelchair lift, and accredited assistance will travel for free on the ferry. Do you need a map to plan your trip? For further information on facilities for disabled guests to Oscarsborg Fortress, please contact the fortress on phone +47 93 02 41 87 or send an email to ingvild.elvebraten@forsvarsbygg.no.

National Fortification Heritage

Oscarsborg Fortress is one of the 14 fortresses under the management of National Fortification Heritage. The national fortifications no longer have a key role to play in present-day defence strategies compared to the situation in the past. Their declining importance as military installations has made it possible to open the fortresses to the general public. The Norwegian Parliament decided in 2002 that these fortresses would be made available for civilian use. The mandate from the government was to open the fortresses to the public and turn them into living and active destinations.  

There are currently no longer any military activities at Oscarsborg Fortress, but a commander who works with the other stakeholders at Oscarsborg to create new life on historical grounds.

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Last updated:  2014-06-13

Interest:  Buildings & Monuments

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Oscarsborg Fortress, Drøbak, Norway - Photo: Nasjonale festningsverk

Oscarsborg Fortress

Oscarsborg Fortress is situated on a peaceful islet of natural beauty in the straits of the Oslofjord, just outside the cosy seaside town of Drøbak.

Oscarsborg Fortress

Source: Visitnorway

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